Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Former Cherry Valley officer sentenced to 12 years in prison for sexual assault

By Jim Hagerty

ROCKFORD – A former Cherry Valley Police officer will be going to prison for having sex with a minor who participated in the Police Explorers program.

Jason B. Personette, 37, was sentenced Monday to a total of 12 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to three counts of criminal sexual assault, a Class 1 felony.

The sentence stems from a complaint that between August and November 2017, Personette engaged in sexual contact with the victim inside his squad car at multiple places inWinnebago County and at least once at the Cherry Valley Police headquarters. He was arrested Feb. 7, 2018, and placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of his case.

Personette must serve 85% of his sentence and serve three year’s of mandatory supervised release. He joined the Cherry Valley Police Department in 2015.

Police Explorers is a career-oriented learning program for young adults ages 14-20 who are interested in becoming police officers. Explorers participate in a variety of community service projects alongside advisors, who are sworn officers. The Cherry Valley Explorers program was started in 2012.


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